The Areca trees

The Areca trees

What are the Areca trees trying to telling me?

They stand around in a group and peer down at me, as if I were some bug that they watched struggle and they wished they could help. When they catch my attention, they sway gently to the lilt of the wind. Maybe they always do that and I only notice when I pause and look up and away from my screen.

The mighty coconuts surrounding them seem indestructible, fatherly—busy providing for you, making you shrink in respect. They flex in whichever direction they choose to, with permanence and vigour, holding themselves in a twist like one of Michelangelo’s burly men.

But the Supari trees are not intimidating like that. They are slender even if not very tall, and have their own quiet grace, like the one that comes from leading a simple life. They hold their little fronds out in a shrug, and have new ones stick out from the middle, like the cowlick on the head of an impish boy.

My dad's mother had planted these Arecas. They have been around for a while. They have seen the worst of the coastal monsoon and the hottest tropical summers. They haven’t lost their sprightliness one bit, as they move from side to side every opportunity they get.

They have a lightness of being. 'Lightness of being'—what a wonderful state to be in.

When I lie down and gaze at the vast blue sky, it feels like the Arecas peep in to tell me,“relax buddy, take it easy… feel the wind on your cheeks.”

I should listen to them.